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Austinites rally when wildfires threaten Bastrop Animal Shelter

by Therese on September 5, 2011

in Austin pets, Dogs

Austin Pets Alive! at 2 am, with dogs from the Bastrop Animal Shelter

The Texas wildfires have a lot of people on edge this weekend, and rightly so. We’re living through one of the hottest and driest summers on record. The entire state is like one big tinderbox and areas are finally going up in flames.

I spent hours on Twitter and Facebook last night reading  about the Central Texas wildfires. There were (and still are) reports of homes being burned, comments about lost pets, and posts from people trying to find each other. And then there’s the videos – the awful videos. I’ve seen videos of wildfires before, but never so many of places I actually know. It’s a very surreal thing that’s happening now and I was in tears more than once from what I saw. I know people who live in or near the areas burning and am terrified for them. Thankfully I’m far enough away from the fires that I’m not directly affected, but it’s still scary. I’d like to believe my neighborhood would never go up in flames, but there’s no guarantee. As dry as things are, it wouldn’t take much to start a fire.

Last night, when the Bastrop Animal Shelter needed to evacuate over 160 dogs and I don’t know how many cats, Austin Pets Alive jumped in to take all of the dogs. I read that the Austin Humane Society got the cats. Volunteers came out in droves to help get the pets out of Bastrop and to Austin Pets Alive. They don’t have the space for that many animals, but stepped up anyway. They put out a plea for people to foster or adopt a dog. Like I said, I was on Facebook and Twitter, where I followed a lot of what was going on. On their blog they say that right now they have enough fosters but are asking people to adopt dogs as soon as possible. So if you’ve been thinking of adopting, now’s the time. They’re waiving adoption fees today for all dogs and cats.

As I read the posts on Facebook and Twitter last night and early into the morning, I wanted to help by fostering a dog or going to help in some way. Austin Pets Alive is only about ten minutes from my house and I felt like I had to do something to help. Right now though I can’t bring another dog into the house. Archie just had surgery on Friday and has been having a very rough time recuperating. He’s doing better today, but still not in any shape for a new dog to be in his space. I also didn’t want to leave him for very long last night, so volunteering was out. What I did do though, was to take some food over to the volunteers. I saw a post on Facebook saying people had been there for 8-9 hours and were hungry. So at 2 am I was out the door to find food. The grocery store I thought was open 24 hours was closed, but there’s a nearby Taco Cabana, which is always open. They were more than happy to give me a few bags of beans and chips. Thank you, Taco Cabana!

When I got to Austin Pets Alive it was so good to see a very crowded parking lot. There was actually a volunteer at the entrance to help people figure out where to park! People came out in droves to foster, adopt, volunteer, or like me, drop off supplies. As I walked toward the building I saw two or three people walking to their cars with pets they’d just adopted. What a happy ending for those pets (and their new people) amidst such a tragedy. It’s great to see Austinites step up, but I hate so much that it’s because of wildfires.

Austin Pets Alive is waiving adoption fees today for all pets. They’re also asking for donations to help with medical care. Every one of the dogs had to be vaccinated as soon as they arrived, and many of them have health issues that had to be taken care of. So, any amount you can send would be put to good use.

The Austin Humane Society has had their share of troubles lately too. Last week, when temperatures were over 100 degrees, their air conditioner broke. Austinites helped them get through that by taking them fans, ice, and other much needed supplies. You might consider giving them a donation too, or better yet, adopting a pet.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol V September 6, 2011 at 6:49 am

I read this at facebook this am Therese..

Patsy Nelson-Farmer of Austin, TX said: “”I live in Lampasas (Texas) and I have 2500 acres with 20 horse stalls, multiple pens, and pastures if anyone needs a place to put animals. Message me or call me 512 734 6080.” PLEASE RE-POST ASAP to all Austin-area vets/rescues/shelters.


Wildfire Pet Rescue September 30, 2011 at 4:17 pm

While there is a lot of great information being posted on facebook, we also recommend checking out http://www.wildfirepetrescue.com, which is trying to compile all facebook information.

Our goal is to help reunite pets with their families!


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